One Direction are a British-Irish boy band consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They signed to Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Records after being formed and placing third in the seventh series of The X Factor. They later signed in North America to Columbia Records.
In November 2011, One Direction released their debut album Up All Night, which became the fastest-selling debut album in the UK of 2011. In 2012, it debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making One Direction the first UK group in history to debut at number one with their first album in the country. Up All Night spawned the Official UK Singles Chart top ten singles — “What Makes You Beautiful”, “Gotta Be You”, and “One Thing”. In 2012, “What Makes You Beautiful” won the BRIT Award for Best British Single. They have began recording their second studio album, due for release in late 2012. One Direction’s world tour is set for 2013, with tickets grossing $15.7 million for their Australian and New Zealand dates.
One Direction’s work has earned them awards and nominations. They have been described as sparking a resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new “British Invasion” in the United States. One Direction has endorsements with Pokémon, Nokia, HarperCollins and Hasbro. As of June 2012, according to Nick Gatfield the CEO and chairman of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represent a $50 million business empire.